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Paranoyds Strike A Carnage Bargain

  • Published in News

LA newcomers The Paranoyds share the title track from their forthcoming debut album, Carnage Bargain, due for September 13 release on Suicide Squeeze. The album sees the four-piece deliver a raucous blend of garage rock grit, new wave swagger, classic horror film soundtrack campiness, and a myriad of other left-of-centre influences.

“People want things all the time—there seems to be a constant manic need of consuming, now more so than ever. ‘Carnage Bargain’ is about the people higher up wanting to get all this evil work done at a wholesale price,” bassist and vocalist Staz Lindes says. “It’s impossible for us to get through a day without thinking of the thousands of migrant children in cages at the border alone, some without proper beds, soap, toothbrushes, and with lights on 24/7. We can not continue to ignore the black lives, young and old, taken by police almost every week. The plastic crisis. The mass shootings. The extreme need of prison reform. The opioid crisis. The water crisis in Flint, Michigan. The list goes on, and the hole gets deeper. Sometimes I can’t sleep and I wonder: do they sleep well in the White House? What else can I do as a privileged citizen? They want to get a Carnage Bargain. I want to pick up garbage. We’re living in the dystopian future. Our lives are completely tracked and programmed, our extension of ourselves is a handheld computer with a microphone and camera that stays on while were unaware, and, on top of everything, the extreme right is gaining continuous world power”.

It’s ironic that the band’s moniker winds up being an apt summary of the band’s general outlook on technology and modern culture given that The Paranoyds’ humble beginnings can be traced back to a friendship forged between Staz Lindes (bass/vocals) and Laila Hashemi (keys/vocals) over Myspace in their early teens. Bonded by a shared interest in local underground music, the pair eventually moved their online friendship into the real world. Laila’s childhood friend Lexi Funston was brought into the fold and the first vestiges of The Paranoyds began to take shape. “We would all go to our friends’ shows and it hit us that we could start a band and play shows too,” Funston says. With the addition of drummer David Ruiz in 2015, the band found the perfect personnel for their sonic balance of jubilant energy and foreboding undercurrents.

Carnage Bargain tracklisting:

Face First

Carnage Bargain

Girlfriend Degree

Egg Salad


Hungry Sam



Heather Doubtfire





Tacocat - This Mess Is A Place

  • Published in Albums

The opening track, and recent single, ‘Hologram’ sets the tone for This Mess Is A Place.  I hesitate to call Tacocat’s sound “pop punk” because of the baggage that tag carries with it.  They are far removed from the shrill, over-produced, homogenised, production line mentality one associates with that genre but they are nonetheless a pop band who play with a punk approach.  The palm-muted power chords, heavy choruses and three part harmonies all suggest pop punk without becoming it.  They blend indie singer-songwriter lyrics and melodies with power pop choruses, and play grungy guitars under it all. 

The grunge label is one that fits This Mess Is A Place much more comfortably.  It helps that it’s being released on Seattle’s Sub Pop label too.  With the variety of styles and multiple songwriters, the record sounds like a mixtape of ‘90s alternative rock with Weezer songs followed by The Breeders, and The Raincoats next to Veruca Salt.  Throw in Nirvana, Hole and The Vaselines et voila, you’ve got the new Tacocat LP.

Tacocat tread new ground on each track. Working within the confines of a basic rock guitar/bass/drums setup, they throw in some light funk a la Tom Tom Club on ‘Grains Of Salt’ to great effect. The Infectious chorus and sweet groove make if feel like Led Zeppelin’s ‘D’yer Maker’. Elsewhere we get some Ronnie Spector style vocals on current single, ‘The Joke Of Life’, over a Ramones guitar riff; very End Of The Century. The twin guitars work in counterpoint, lifting the chorus of ‘Rose Colored Sky’ to euphoric heights and ‘Crystal Ball’ is another classic pop tune, with Tacocat channelling the Buckingham/Nicks era Fleetwood Mac,but the punk roots that underlie This Mess Is A Place come to the fore on ‘Phantom’.

Finishing off the LP, ‘Miles and Miles’, shouldn’t work.  Slow ballads and distortion pedals go together as well as yesterday’s fish pie and the office microwave but somehow they manage, just about, to pull it off.  It certainly doesn’t hurt that it sounds so much like Weezer’s blue album opener ‘My Name Is Jonah’.  I reached for the skip button during the first listen but ‘Miles and Miles’ endures.  As a closing track it works, aided by the identifiable chorus, “The days dragged, but the years have flown by

This Mess Is A Place is a sunny collection of tunes and arrives at the first weekend in May.  The timing could hardly be better.  This is best listened to while walking down sunny city streets or lazing in the garden.  Or by the pool, if you are so inclined. There isn’t a bad song on here. I have now listened to this record ten times in a row without skipping a track. That is the best recommendation I could give any album.

You can pre-order This Mess Is A Place here



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